“At that time, Sita’s brother came there from the earth. Performing the rituals and giving blessings, he made himself known.” (Janaki Mangala, 148)
siya bhrātā ke samaya bhoma tahan āyau |
durīdurā kari negu sunāta janāyau ||
The wedding in Janakpur a long time ago was so important that the most powerful personalities in the world arrived there to witness it. One would think they had more pressing matters to attend to, but when it comes to witnessing beautiful moments shared between the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His eternal consort, everything else takes a backseat. Here we see that the personality who is the planet Mars arrived on the scene to offer his blessings.
Previously, the goddess of fortune and the personality in charge of guarding the material nature arrived there. The wives of other celestials came as well. They came disguised so as to not distract from the festivities. They were there to enjoy the scene, not to hog the glory. In the Vedas we learn that the higher forces of nature are controlled by intelligent beings. The most intelligent being is God, and everything surely does emanate from Him. This means that all that is bad and all that is good is originally sourced in God.
From hearing this one would be tempted to blame God for all the calamities of the world. After all, if He’s going to get credit for everything good, as being the author of all that is blessed and sacred, why shouldn’t He take the blame for the tragedies and painful situations people encounter on a daily basis? The root cause of this temporary creation gives the answer to this puzzling question. The Supreme Lord creates, but that doesn’t mean He invests interest in the outcomes to the actions and results seen in that creation. He creates to satisfy the desires of the independent living beings who choose to not have His direct association.
His apathy in material interests is seen in how the creation is effected. Powerful personalities are put in charge of the various elements of nature. The sun is a person, though we find this hard to believe. The person is purusha, or spirit. Spirit is seen in the fish, the dog, the cat, and the human alike. Why can’t it be in the sun as well? The body type is all that is different. Spirit is still there, so the combination of material elements surrounding that spirit just makes for a different kind of living being.
Good and bad are relative in the material sphere. We can use the sun again to test this theory. The sun diffuses heat and light. It does so perpetually. It does not require an external fuel source. It does not require maintenance. Now, depending on where you live, you either bask in the sunshine or fear its dreaded heat. In the summer months, you’re not pleased with the sun, but in the winter you crave its warmth. The sun is identical in both situations. It does not choose to be favorable or unfavorable upon anyone.
From this example we see that what is good for one person may be bad for another. This concept extends all the way into the afterlife, where one person goes to a heavenly realm and another to a hellish one. Indeed, the present life is the afterlife to a previous term in a material body. And right now we see both heavenly and hellish situations, which means that we don’t always get good and don’t always get bad.
Real good is everlasting, extending beyond the foreseeable and unforeseeable futures. Real good belongs only to the Supreme Lord and by extension those who are tied to Him in service. The occasion of Sita’s marriage is an example of all good. The personalities in charge of the material creation took great delight in the occasion. Though they are residents in a realm of duality, here they momentarily cast aside their duties to witness the beautiful spectacle.
Sita is God’s wife in a unique spiritual form. For her earthly pastimes, she appears from the ground of the earth. She has a father in King Janaka, who finds her in the field one day, but she is an adopted child. Janaka has no sons at the time, so it seems as though Sita does not have any brothers. When it comes time for her wedding rites, the different aspects traditionally performed by the brother of the bride would seemingly not occur.
From this verse from the Janaki Mangala, Goswami Tulsidas says that Sita’s brother did indeed appear at her wedding. He is known as Bhauma, or Mangala. He comes from the earth, and since Sita arose from the earth as well, Mangala is her brother. Everyone knew who he was when he started performing the rituals and bestowing blessings upon the newly married couple.
Mangala is the planet known in English as Mars. Like all other planets, Mars intrigues the mind. Its climate and appearance are studied by scientists in great detail. Of course even with so much invested in researching it, nothing of value is really known. One can see the color of the planet and perhaps analyze its atmospheric conditions, but what is gained from such information?
Here we get a better understanding of Mars. It is a personality who was originally nurtured by the earth. Bhauma took great pleasure in seeing Sita and Rama. Rama is the origin of everything in His form of Vishnu, who simply exhales to create innumerable universes that emanate from the pores on His body. Vishnu is opulently adorned and thus worshiped in reverence. The worship through offering service in a marriage is more intimate, and so fortunate personalities were able to serve in greater ecstasy through attending the marriage of Sita and Rama.
The ordinary living entities, who have a difficult time maintaining a job let alone even thinking of managing a planet, can stay very close to the same Sita and Rama by remembering their wedding, taking delight in the fact that so many well-wishers were on the scene, and always chanting their names, like those found in the maha-mantra, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
Thought that for Sita brothers none,
Then arrived resplendent personality one.
By his blessings in rituals made known,
That he was Janaki’s brother own.
From mother earth he originally came,
Thus had lineage to Sita the same.
In supreme ecstasy same offerings can give,
When in devotional consciousness we live.